Dirt Shooting Out When Vacuuming

by Jennifer
(Staten Island)

I have a cartridge filter. When I connect the vacuum to the skimmer dirt shoots out of the return.


What does this mean? How can this be fixed?




Thanks for the question Jennifer

Cartridge filters are my favorite because they're so easy to diagnose and troubleshoot.

Normally when dirt is coming back into the pool with a cartridge filter it's a torn pleat or old/dirty cartridge.

Your best bet is to take the cartridge out and inspect it for any signs of wear or tear. If you find anything you'll need to replace it. If you have 2 or more be sure they have the proper spacing between them.

Also be sure the cartridge is seated correctly inside the tank before putting the top back on.

Swimming Pool Filter Cartridge

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Cartridge Filter" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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Maintaining Vacuum Suction..Loss Of Suction With A Cartridge Filter..

by Stephen Melamed
(Perry, FL)

I cannot maintain a steady suction when vacuuming pool. I checked the hose, no leaks. I cleaned the filter (cartridge, above ground pool) filter is white and is only one year old.

All connections are tight. I have felt slime in close to filter center between membranes,cleaned with special solution for cleaning filters. I got strong flow and suction didn't last more then one hour. O-ring is not worn or cracked and is lubricated. What is wrong and how can I rectify the problem.

Help!




Thanks for the question Stephen

There could be a alot of reasons for a loss of suction, but we'll start with some of the more common reasons. Reduced suction during vacuuming is pretty normal as the filter gets dirty. This is especially true when there's alot of dirt and debris being vacuumed up.

Clogged up pump basket. Maybe you need to check it more often and empty it out. Also check the impeller for any large debris that might get through the basket. Check for basket for cracks. If there are any, replace it.

The loss of suction might be related to the skimmer basket. Having that and a vacuum adapter reduces flow. You may want to remove the basket and just allow the larger debris catch in the pump basket. Water level gets below the skimmer. You should keep it between 1/3 - 1/2 up from the bottom of the skimmer.

If you have a vacuum hose with a swivel, be sure the swivel end is on the vacuum head, not the skimmer. Prime the vacuum hose. You can either feed the hose into the water, or put one end near the return and fill the hose that way. Either way, the hose always needs to be filled with water.

A clogged line, hose, or vacuum head. Be sure everything is cleaned out and you have a good flow of water. A loss of suction might cause air to get into the pump motor. If the filter is undersized you'll see shorter filter cycles. This is especially true during vacuuming.

Filters have design flow rates, as do pool pumps. One drawback of a cartridge filter is that you can't vacuum to WASTE as you can with a sand filter. This bypasses the filter altogether.

Never raise the vacuum had out of the water when the pump motor is running. The hose will fill with air quickly and go directly into the entire filtration system. Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out for you. Have a great and safe swimming season.

Basic Swimming Pool Care Blog

Best of luck.

Robert

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Pool Vacuum - More Information

by Amy

I work at a small, in ground, in door, tile pool. I would like information on the best basic automatic robotic pool vacuum that works best with cartridge filters. I don't need it to climb walls, and I want it to last longer than one year.

It seems we are replacing our vacuum and/or parts at least yearly and that is quite expensive! Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.




Thanks for the question Amy

I'm pretty much old-school when it comes to pool maintenance and cleaning. While I've seen many kinds of automatic robotic pool vacuum that work, they leave me disappointed when compared to many Polaris models.

I can say that since taking care of pools since 1999, then kinds that didn't break down as often are the:

  • Polaris 9300xi Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner

  • Dolphin Advantage Pool Cleaner

  • Nitro Wall Climber Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy


  • I've found the same issues that you're having. They work well for a while, then quit, and are expensive to replace or get repaired. Of course if you talk to a sales rep for robotic vacuums he'll probably disagree with me, but I have nothing to sell you and this comes from personal experience.

    If you can, try to consider a Polaris F5 280 (and other 280 models) Complete Pool Cleaner Vac-Sweep or a Polaris 360 Automatic Pool Cleaner. The last one operates without a separate booster pump, is designed for all in-ground pools and connects to a dedicated pressure line.

    The down side to using these is you're tying up pressure line.

    They're great for picking up smaller debris. You have an indoor pool so leaves and grass are not an issue.

    If you must have a robotic cleaner, the 3 mentioned above are what I recommend.

    To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Carridge Filter" category.

    Check back to this post for updates or answers.

    If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

    Contact Me

    Donation

    Hope this helps.

    Robert

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    Fine Silt In Pool Overnight After Vacuuming

    by Dave

    I have a Hayward c1200 filtration cartridge. It is 1 year old and I rinse it after each vacuuming, yet the next morning there is a fine layer of fuzzy silt.

    The pool area is enclosed and I even put a 7" border around bottom of screen to keep dirt out. chlorine levels vary from low to moderate I use granular chlorine at 2 1/2 scoops per week. Any info would be helpful




    Thanks for the question Dave

    Cartridge filters are my favorite, but there are drawbacks with everything. Dirt and/or silt can't simply appear, it must be introduced into the pool.

    I'd first direct you to be sure there are no tears or rips in the pleats. Vacuuming puts alot of stress on the filter and any dirt will find its way back into the pool because of a tear.

    Next I'd encourage you to stop using granular chlorine and start with liquid. Granular is calcium hypochlorite and works well, but it does leave a kind of silt on the bottom. Calcium is the binder for the chlorine. It dissolves and settles to the bottom. I used 20 lbs. of cal hypo when I shocked the YMCA pool. I knew full good and well I'd be in for about 3 hours of fun and exciting vacuuming once it settled.

    I will assume you have an inground pool. Are there any bubbles coming out of the returns? This could mean a return side leak. If you have a leak underground you may be getting some residual dirt inside the pipes which is then being put into the pool through the returns. But cross that bridge later.

    Check the pleats and use liquid chlorine and see how that does.

    I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

    To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Cartridge Filters" category.

    Check back to this post for updates or answers.

    If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of $35 per hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

    Have I helped you find a solution to your pool problems? Did this information help you? Please consider making a donation to help keep this site going. Thank you.









    Hope this helps.

    Robert

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